34 Cost-Cutting and Time-Saving Production Tips
TIPS FROM … Cathy Craley, Head of Production, Stackpole Books
Stackpole Books is a Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based publisher of titles on crafting, nature and outdoor recreation.
21. Schedule titles together.
“Probably the most significant way I have found to cut costs is to schedule several titles together at the same supplier and have them ship at the same time,” Craley says. “There can be significant savings in shipping costs alone to ship five titles together rather than have five separate shipments. Suppliers also can give better pricing when they are awarded blocks of books as opposed to single titles.”
TIPS FROM … Hans Laeven, Vice President, Publishing Operations, S&T Books, Elsevier
Headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier is a leading scientific, technical and medical (STM) publisher that, in addition to an extensive catalog of journals, publishes about 1,900 books a year.
22. Expand what you outsource.
“We are working on all factors of our costs structure; some activities are outsourced or offshored,” Laeven says. “Both typesetting and printing can now be done competitively in low-cost environments.”
23. Eliminate workflow duplications.
According to Laeven, the “harmonization of working practices” can eliminate duplications in the book-creation process, largely thanks to new technologies that define end-to-end workflows and monitor all steps, “irrespective of where the actors in the process are, and whether they are Elsevier’s or a supplier’s employees.”
24. Use print-on-demand when practical.
25. Seek to consolidate manufacturing processes.
For example, says Laeven, “Use [fewer] printers in [fewer] locations, allowing for volume deals, and for more economical shipments to the warehouses. Use [fewer] typesetters for the same reason, and also use typesetters validated for providing e-material according to required DTD [document type definition]. [Consolidate] paper types being used, again allowing for better bulk deals. Standardize cover designs.”
26. Manage the workflow carefully.
Elsevier closely manages the planning process between authors, internal development and production in order to get books to market as quickly as possible, Laeven says. This includes providing authors with tools, such as templates, to facilitate the writing process, and reducing the production cycles for some titles, when necessary, through “fast-track routes.”